(Soundtrack Credit begin: 50ft Queenie by PJ Harvey) There was revelry. The cylindrical stele erected years ago was black in the ice as many read and sang, remembering Po. Frey was her sister’s quiet side often remembering the violations against her and her. The years had rolled by and Frey was off many times on adventures in the ecumene. She played with blood, arrested in development, deprived of the abilities of other women, going throughout from place to place taking a knife to the genitalia of unproductive men and the bellies of girls.
That evening, secluded in blankets on the sheets of ice, Frey thought through the process of damages. (Soundtrack: String Quartet No. 6 movement 4 by Bela Bartok). She played the advocate of every side understanding circumstances and economy, brutality of surviving, but was intuitive to play out the paths and followed her sister’s wishes for change in the form of parenting. She was beaten and broken inside without any chance to conceive and be the new mother so she exacted her will as best she could. She thought through the delicate sure cuts she made year after year diminishing the population and the harm, bringing the attention to few who were deemed worthy and loving to be the new parents. Frey often imagined what a child she might make and a more passive approach she would take. The brutal men took from her that right. She pulled the blankets a little more snug drifting through her arguments.
Tlat weighed the manners of speaking to Frey of the news he and Ptel were expecting. She, the ward, his sister and leader had made him part of Po’s revolution since his earliest memory being as close to a mother as either had known. He knew his fighting was done and the years of rearing just begun, giving up his time and fearing abandoning his most loving sister Frey.
Tlat approached the virtuous woman with respect and humbled the things which filled the chamber from every place the woman had been; collections of possessions, trinkets idle unused. “All these gifts brought to you sister, and though this is of no condolence, you have been as my mother the most precious.” The two had been through this line of conversation many times, arguing the points of fact and opinion of emotion, and Frey held to her angle that she had loved Tlat but was not a mother. Tlat succumbed to her reasoning as usual finally breaking the news of Ptel’s pregnancy. Frey welcomed the news with near abandon and joy. Tlat could feel the words cutting into her not just because he knew her unspoken desire to carry a child but that this was the end of his clean cut lifestyle. He would retire his arithmetic blades for pencils, rulers and all the time necessary to be the new parent, an architect for a new generation. Frey smiled a face without many wrinkles and held Tlat in her arms avoiding any more words.
Frey was accustomed to selecting a course of action many might find difficult. There had been fantastic instances on her mission to spread her faith such as the time a child who had just become of the menstruating age believed wholeheartedly that she was with child of a miraculous nature. Frey dispensed with her and a council of elders for their lack of foresight. Frey knew too well the near implausible condition of wellness such a child mother could sustain.
A vengeful flow of men where gouging out tracks of rock and gravel as a receding ice flow revealing damage and scars jarred loose the earth starting a quake of violent reaction. The people of the north huddled their families while a few prepared for more killing. Frey sent Tlat away to care for his loving Ptel. (Soundtrack: begin 50 ft. Queenie by PJ Harvey Solo Version)
Curtains of light set the stage. Frey summoned all her pain and delivered the blow (soundtrack: 50 ft. Queenie album track). Slashing. Tearing. Piles and smatterings.
(Soundtrack: String Quartet no. 6 movement IV) Frey stepped around the fleshy leavings, the burnt and the wet. Too familiar cries and muttering were muffled by the endless circle of violence which whirled around her like a curse, a spinning devil. She stopped when her heart dropped at the sight of Ptel laid out lifeless. Tlat cringed and cried bent over on his knees pulling at the body. Frey took deep breaths and in an instant placed a blade in Tlat’s warm hand.
(Soundtrack: 50 ft. Queenie Solo Version). Frey laid next to Ptel and sliced an incision across both their bellies in one contemplated action. Tlat looked with disbelief. Frey commanded him to act fast to cut out her lifeless sack and transfer the womb of Ptel into its place. Tlat cried, “but I will lose three of you!” Frey stared him down, “If you do not act, you will!”
Tlat cut out the womb with his child as other surgeons gathered to open Frey preparing her for reception. Frey yelled but stayed motionless. Curtains of light waved over the theater of operation.
Frey felt the pain in her belly three days before she attempted opening her eyes. She felt time pass in measurements of breath. Her bedside caretaker gave her the day’s goings ons to distract her mind from fully dwelling on the pain. Tlat gave the intimate account of Ptel’s passing and the gatherings of family and friends for both Ptel and her. He detailed the procedure and held his breath for every conceivable complication that may arise. At the moment nobody could be sure if the baby was alive.
Frey took care, developed an appetite and treated her belly as if it contained a gift. She talked to her belly, sang and caressed it, played with light and shadows over it. She waited for a sign as a second cycle of the moon passed the sun’s vernal phase. The sun was shining longer and the gatherings were becoming quieter with fewer folks walking passed her door. Frey laid quiet. She touched her belly without thought. She was almost asleep one evening when she felt the quickening. Her eyes burst open with joy. (Soundtrack: Electric Ocean by the Cult) Roll Credits end of the middle part.